EUGENE RICE COWAN
|The Citadel Class of:
||16-Nov-16 in Rock Hill, South Carolina
||Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina
||Robert H. Cowan (father), Mary E. Cowan (mother),
Robert Cowan (brother), ’34, Mary Elizabeth Cowan (sister)
|Branch of Service:
|Entered the Service from:
|Division – Transport:
|Company – Squadron:
|Unit – Group:
||United States Naval Reserve
|Date of death:
|Place of death:
||Lyme Bay, England
||Plot C Row 0 Grave 56
||Cambridge American Cemetery
Date of enlistment: 31-Jul-43 at NRS Spartanburg, S.C.; Reported onboard LST 531: 15-Jan-44;
LST 531 was commissioned on 9-Feb-44
– Source: WWII US Navy Muster Rolls, National Archives
Coxswain Cowan Killed In Action
ROCK HILL, May 16. – Coxswain Eugene Rice Cowan of Rock Hill, has been killed in action in the
United States Navy, his family here has been notified by the War department. He was believed
serving in the European theater of war at the time of his death.
Coxswain Cowan was believed to be on a landing barge and had been in foreign service only
Surviving are his brother, Robert H. Cowan and Miss Mary Elizabeth Cowan, both of Rock Hill.
Before entering the Navy nearly a year ago he made his home on East Main street and was a
prominent young farmer of this section. He attended Rock Hill high school and The Citadel.
– Source: The Greenville News, 17 May 1944, p.10.
LST-531 was taking part in EXERCISE TIGER when it was torpedoed twice by German E-boats.
It burst into flames, rolled over and sank within six minutes. Due to the top secret nature of
the exercise and the preparations for Operation Overlord, the tragic events and casualties were
not immediately reported. The losses would be later included with those incurred during the
D-Day landings. The name of Cowan, Eugene R (S1C) is included in the Exercise Tiger Roll of
Honour (LST-531 U.S. Navy).
“In the early hours of the 28th of April 1944 eight Landing Ship Tanks (LST’s), full of American
servicemen were in Lyme Bay, off the coast of Devon, England. Their purpose to take part in
EXERCISE TIGER, the realistic rehearsals for the D-Day landings in Normandy. The night turned
into tragedy as a group of patrolling German e-boats discovered and attacked them. At the end
of the series of practice landings 946 American Servicemen lost their lives.”
– Source: Sherman Tank – a memorial to the tragedy of Exercise Tiger
Additional EXERCISE TIGER sources and reading:
Sources: American Battle Monuments Commission, The Citadel Archive & Museum, Mike Stannard ’65, WarMemorial.US, Sherman Tank, 1940 US Census, WWII US Navy Muster Rolls (NARA), Greenville County Library South Carolina Room
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